Creditor Seeks Foreclosure Against Clear Fork Resort

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SAM Magazine—Butler, Ohio, July 7, 2014—The main creditor for Clear Fork Resort here has begun foreclosure proceedings against the area. However, general operations manager Kelly Donaldson told SAM that the filing is only part of a broader effort to reorganize and consolidate the ownership group, Slater Run Land Development LLC, and that the resort continues to operate on a business-as-usual basis.

The creditor, Cache Private Capital, filed a foreclosure complaint June 9. It claims that a note for $2.45 million was due in full on Jan. 25, and is suing Slater Run Land Development LLC, owner of Clear Fork, for that amount.

Cache also filed a separate lawsuit May 23 against seven individual owners of the resort property, claiming they had signed a guarantee agreement for the loan.

All that's true, Donaldson said, but the aim is to consolidate ownership among some of the current owners, and to reorganize the company's finances. The original seven are friends who grew up at the resort, but only some of them remain committed to reviving the area, she said. She refused to identify the group members who plan to remain or depart, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

Clear Fork ski area opened in 1964 and operated through the 2005-06 season. It was closed from that time until Slater Land Development purchased the area in 2011. Slater planned to redevelop the resort by investing $55 million in mountainside suites, condos, cabins, and yurts, and by making improvements to the winter and summer facilities. Slater did offer a year-round series of activities and events—skiing and riding, ATV trails, mud runs, weddings and other special events—but the real estate plan never got off the drawing board.

Donaldson told SAM that that initial plan has proved untenable due to water and sewage restrictions, but that the reorganized ownership group plans to proceed with a scaled-down version.